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Deny Republican Charges Israel Was Forced to Pay High Price for Skyhawks

A State Department spokesman denied today a charge by the Republican Coordinating Committee that the Administration slowed the delivery of Douglas A-4 Skyhawk military jets “by attempting to make a profit on the sale of the Skyhawks to Israel.” The Committee said that following the sales agreement on a government-to-government level, Israel paid the agreed price to the Naval Air Systems Command, the Government agency charged with obtaining a contract from the Douglas Company, manufacturer of the Skyhawk. According to the Committee, the Naval Air Systems Command nevertheless spent considerable time trying unsuccessfully to force Douglas to sell the Government the planes “at an especially low cost” for resale to Israel at a profit. Israel had been charged a premium price for the Skyhawks.